How feminine athletes are driving Nigeria to international successes

 Tens of millions of Nigerian sports activities fanatics are presently in a joyous mood following the historic trip of Crew Nigeria on the merely concluded 2022 Commonwealth Video games in Birmingham, England.

Represented by 94 athletes in seven events, significantly weightlifting, energy-lifting, boxing, para-table tennis, athletics, boxing and desk tennis, Crew Nigeria produced their most attention-grabbing ever effectivity within the video video games as they scooped an remarkable 12 gold, 9 silver and 14 bronze for a complete of 35 medals, ending seventh out of 42 international locations that participated within the video video games.

Aside from the true incontrovertible fact that Nigeria emerged the marvelous African nation on the multi-sports events wherein she made her debut in 1950 in Auckland with a bronze medal, Crew Nigeria broke and space 4 Commonwealth Video games information and one world chronicle in Birmingham.

Probably the most inspiring and absorbing issue about Crew Nigeria’s success story in England is that every one the 12 gold medals that earned the nation her enviable rating have been received by feminine athletes in wrestling, weightlifting and athletic events. 

Crew Nigeria’s most attention-grabbing effectivity in Commonwealth Video games grew to become as soon as in 2014 in Glasgow Scotland, the save the nation accrued a complete of 11gold, 8 silver and 14 gold medals with the feminine athletes led by Blessing Okagbare contributing 9 gold medals.

It is, due to this fact, straightforward to fancy why Nigerian sports activities followers are so overjoyed in regards to the effectivity of the contingent to the 2022 Commonwealth Video games, particularly the illustrious performances of their feminine athletes.

The daring deeds of the feminine athletes might per likelihood properly even close to as a shock to some Nigerians, nonetheless a weak director-general of the defunct Nationwide Sports activities actions Fee (NSC), Alhassan Yakmut, acknowledged he grew to become as soon as not stunned by the feats completed by the younger females.

In an odd interview with Each day Belief Saturday, the weak Nigerian world volleyball participant acknowledged, “In my view, the superlative performances of Crew Nigeria’s females didn’t as regards to me as a shock. It has been the developing within the earlier 25 years. Our most attention-grabbing performances in world competitions had been restricted to the females.

“I, due to this fact, keep in mind the Minister of Women people Affairs, Pauline Tallen, who acknowledged the effectivity of Nigerian females in Birmingham grew to become as soon as a proof of how important females might per likelihood properly contribute to the picture and developing of the nation

“Now, the events are 50-50 for female and male athletes. On account of this actuality, it’s the male gender that we should revive for podium performances,” Yakmut acknowledged.

Alternatively, as Nigerians proceed to feast on the coronary heart-warming performances of Crew Nigeria in Birmingham, there are divergent opinions, with some attributing the success to particular person brilliance of the athletes, who defied your total odds in opposition to them to want the laurels.

Indignant about the true incontrovertible fact that Nigerian athletes are oftentimes starved of the the most important motivation ahead of and at some degree of world competitions, such views can’t be acknowledged to be counterfeit.

On account of this actuality, the controversy as as as to if or not or not the Federal Ministry of Sports activities actions might per likelihood properly even tranquil choose credit score for the lawful trip of Crew Nigeria in Birmingham has persevered unabated.

Nevertheless the ministry under Sunday Dare might be contented that it grew to become as soon as instrumental to the 35 podium appearances of Crew Nigeria in England. Of path, there are ample evidences to collaborate the claims by the ministry.

Ministry’s position within the success story

Crew Nigeria’s effectivity in Birmingham can’t be separated from the Undertake-An-Athlete initiative launched by the sports activities minister on December 2019 on the Lagos Civic Centre. This step grew to become as soon as taken by the minister after discoveries have been made that the inspiration cause on the benefit of the challenges athletes confronted, which had impeded their performances at continental and international competitions, grew to become as soon as lack of funding and scholarships.

Curiously, sizable decisions to the above talked about points hitherto confronted by athletes have been came across as quickly because the initiative began in earnest.

In the meanwhile, some dwelling-primarily based mostly totally athletes internet as important as $10,000, paid immediately into their accounts and managed totally by them. This takes care of their coaches, kits, vitamin and medical medical health insurance safety. And per elevated overhead, international-primarily based mostly totally athletes connect as important as $20,000.

To protect this initiative, some states admire Delta, Edo, Ogun, Lagos and Bayelsa, as appropriately as company organisations admire Constancy Financial institution, Zenith Financial institution, UBA, Purchase admission to Financial institution, adopted a lot of the athletes. 

Curiously, a lot of the athletes who received medals in Birmingham are among the many 38 beneficiaries of the Undertake-An-Athlete initiative of the sports activities minister. 

Other than, the ministry ensured that Crew Nigeria didn’t plod to England for jamboree as a result of it grew to become as soon as the observe within the earlier. Thus, Nigeria went to Birmingham with solely 94 athletes, who featured in honest 9 sports activities the save the nation is ranked amongst the very best 50 on this planet. It grew to become as soon as a deliberate dedication to characteristic athletes in events the save Nigeria additionally has comparative income.

No longer like ahead of, reward for victorious athletes grew to become as soon as speedy, as a result of it’s acknowledged that even ahead of most of them competed of their video video games, that that they had their allowances readily available.

Whereas gold medalists obtained as important as $5,000, silver medalists bought $3,000. Bronze medalists internet $2,000. Money rewards have been additionally given to the coaches. These and different readily available incentives, no query, motivated the athletes to place of their most attention-grabbing.

 Scheme ahead for sports activities in Nigeria is with females – Ibrahim Galadima

Overwhelmed by the illustrious performances of Crew Nigeria’s feminine athletes in Birmingham, one amongst Nigeria’s most revered sports activities administrators and patron of the Nigeria Olympics Committee (NOC), Alhaji Ibrahim Galadima, has concluded that the formulation ahead for sports activities in Africa’s most populous nation lies with females.

Talking completely to Each day Belief Saturday, the chairman of the Kano Announce Sports activities actions Fee acknowledged, “Each Nigerian is overjoyed at what happened in Birmingham. It is extended we had such an illustrious effectivity. The effectivity of the younger females is an illustration that the formulation ahead for Nigerian sports activities is with females.

“I hope and pray that we protect the tempo. Managing success has been one amongst our foremost points in sports activities. We should all the time all the time protect a terminate search on the victorious athletes as we put collectively for the 2024 Olympic Video games in France.  We should all the time all the time protect the distinctive now we like space.

He, on the alternative hand, expressed dissatisfaction with Crew Nigeria’s preparations ahead of the video video games as he additionally attributed important of the success story to particular person efforts of the athletes.

“We didn’t put collectively adequately as a result of even when it grew to become as soon as terminate to the video video games, a lot of the athletes weren’t in closed camp. This has repeatedly been our state. So most of what we have been able to plot clarify that there grew to become as soon as particular person brilliance and resilience on the portion of the athletes.

Galadima, on the alternative hand, gave the Sports activities actions Ministry a pat on the benefit for paying further consideration to athletes’ motivation by immediately rewarding winners with money prizes.

“I am additionally impressed with the response from the ministry when it includes giving them successful bonuses nearly immediately. I’ve that additionally spurred the athletes to plot higher.

“It reveals that the ministry is popping into conscious that motivation is foremost to success,” the weak president of the then Nigeria Soccer Affiliation acknowledged.

How Birmingham success will even be sustained – Tijani Yusuf, Alhassan Yakmut

Throughout the meantime, two foremost Nigerian sports activities administrators, Dr Tijani Yusuf and a weak director-general of the Nationwide Sports activities actions Fee (NSC), Alhassan Yakmut, in odd interviews with Each day Belief Saturday, often known as on the Ministry of Sports activities actions to protect the momentum by taking sports activities developing to the grassroots, the save they believe about further Tobi Amusans and Ese Brumes are ready to be unearthed.

Dr Yusuf, who’s a senior lecturer within the Division of Bodily and Well being Coaching, Bayero Faculty, Kano, acknowledged the success of Crew Nigeria in Birmingham grew to become as soon as not an unintended.

He reiterated that the success in Birmingham grew to become as soon as a finish results of laborious work, scientific planning and developmental programmes that set up the athletes in high kind for podium finishes.

Yusuf additionally endorsed the victorious feminine athletes for upstaging American and Jamaican opponents, even in events they (Americans) had dominated for a protracted time.

The weak secretary-general of the then Nigeria Soccer Affiliation acknowledged, “Throughout the event you glimpse at issues holistically, the females who made Nigeria proud did so in these areas that have been dominated by Jamaicans and Americans.

“Let’s assume, the 4x100m females’s relay group has damaged the African chronicle and space a brand new one so others will should plot further in expose to both equal or surpass their chronicle in Birmingham.”

The school don additionally acknowledged that to steer positive of what had develop into the bane of the feminine senior nationwide group, the Large Falcons, there might per likelihood properly even tranquil be plans for the long run, even because the nation is tranquil celebrating.

“We should all the time all the time open to space up for the long run. Skills abound in Nigeria. They’re solely ready to be came across. I want to fancy the minister for a couple of of his improvements in sports activities. He has carried out what Napoleon couldn’t plot. I congratulate him and these that made the success capability,” Yusuf acknowledged.

Yakmut additionally lauded Crew Nigeria, asserting hope has been an excellent deal rekindled by their superlative performances, particularly the feminine athletes in Birmingham.

Moreover, he painted a shiny future for Nigeria in sports activities as he expressed happiness and pleasure with the sensible age of the athletes.

“I’ve that within the historic earlier of this nation, there won’t be the form of factor as a better time that sports activities like healed it of so many points than now. There might be the problem of disunity, insecurity, poverty, inflation and so forth. These are international challenges, anyway.

“The performances on the Commonwealth Video games like rekindled the hope of Nigerians of their nation and the youthful experience.

“We might per likelihood properly even tranquil additionally understanding to protect the success. With the shiny and proficient youths now we like, it shouldn’t choose us years to achieve this effectivity. We want lawful administrators, lawful funding, upgrading of carrying services, distinctive world publicity for the athletes and strict adherence to anti-doping laws to thrive.

“And whenever you glimpse on the sensible age of those that competed, it’s the youngest now we like ever offered. That is one space most of us haven’t checked out. The age bracket of our athletes is promising,” he illustrious.

Like Yusuf, the weak NSC director-general additionally made a passionate attraction for grassroots sports activities developing if the success story in Birmingham is to be sustained.

“Ese Brume grew to become as soon as came across at a grassroots opponents in Lagos once I grew to become as soon as the Director of Grassroots Sports activities actions Sample within the Federal Ministry of Sports activities actions.

“So, now we should return to the grassroots the save these talents abound. If now we like sustainable programmes as a couple of of us like repeatedly proposed, our athletes will proceed to assemble podium appearances,” he advised.

 Purchase under a complete guidelines of the winners and their events:

Weightlifting

Adijat Adenike Olarinoye (gold, females’s 55kg)

Edidiong Joseph Umaofia (bronze, males’s 67kg)

Rafiatu Folashade Lawal (gold, females’s 59kg)

Slamiyat Yusuf (bronze, females’s 64kg).

Taiwo Laidi (silver, females’s 76kg).

Mary Taiwo Osijo (bronze, females’s 87kg)

Athletics

Chioma Onyekwere (gold, females’s discus throw)

Obiageri Amaechi (bronze, females’s discus throw)

Favour Ofili (silver, females’s 200m)

Amusan Tobi (gold, females’s 100m, hurdles)

Onwuzurike Udodi Chudi, Ashe Favour Oghene Tejiri, Akintola Alaba Olukunle, Ekevwo Raymond (bronze medal, males’s 4 x 100m)

Amusan Tobi, Ofili Favour, Chukwuma Rosemary, Nwokocha Nzubechi Grace, Udo Pleasure Gabriel Chinenye (gold, females’s 4 x 100m).

Ese Brume (gold, females’s extended soar)

Para-athletics

Goodness Chiemere Nwachukwu (gold, females’s discus throw F 42-44/61-64)

Eucharia Njideka Iyiazi (gold, females’s F55 – 57, shot set up)

Ugochi Constaine Alam (bronze, females’s F55 – 57, shot set up)

Energy-lifting

Alice Folashade Oluwafemiayo (gold, females’s heavyweight)

Bose Patricia Omolayo (silver, females’s heavyweight)

Ikechukwu Christian Obichukwu (silver, males’s heavyweight)

Harmless Nnamdi (bronze, males’s light-weight)

Wrestling

Adekuoroye Odunayo (gold, females’s freestyle 57kg)

Kolawole Esther (bronze, females’s freestyle 62kg)

Oborodudu Blessing (gold, females’s freestyle 68kg)

Genesis Mercy (gold, females’s freestyle, 50kg)

Wilson Ebikewemino (silver, males’s freestyle 57kg)

Hannah Reuben (silver, females’s freestyle 76kg)

John Ogbonna Emmanuel (bronze, males’s freestyle 74kg)

Para-table tennis

Ikpeoyi Ifechukwude Christiana (silver, females’s singles courses 3-5)

Sule Nasiru (silver, males’s singles courses 3-5)

Ogunkunle Isau (bronze, males’s singles courses 3-5)

Obazuaye Religion (bronze, females’s singles courses 6-10)

Boxing

Onyekwere Ifeanyi (bronze, males’s over 92kg, immense heavyweight)

Umunnake Jacinta (bronze, females’s 75kg)

Ogunsemilore Cynthia (bronze, females’s over 57kg-60kg, mild weight)

Oshoba Elizabeth (silver, over 54kg-57kg, featherweight)